To evaluate our midsize sedans, we put them through a battery of tests in and around Baltimore:
- We took all 10 cars on a mileage drive of about 180 miles to judge real-world fuel economy.
- The experts drove all 10 over the same course, back-to-back, to judge ride and handling, acceleration and braking.
- Then we brought in a real-life family, Amit and Michelle Kapoor, both 34, and their two young children (above), to help us evaluate these cars. Amit works as a defense contractor, and his wife works for the federal government. They live in suburban Washington, D.C.
The Kapoors joined our judges:
- Aaron Bragman, Cars.com Detroit bureau chief
- Jennifer Newman, Cars.com assistant managing editor
- Joe Wiesenfelder, Cars.com executive editor
- Fred Meier, auto editor for USA Today
- Brian Robinson, producer for PBS’ “MotorWeek”
We set a maximum price of $27,000, including a destination charge, and each car had to get at least 28 mpg in combined EPA ratings. Ten cars fit that bill (in alphabetical order):
- 2015 Chevrolet Malibu 1LT
- 2015 Chrysler 200 Limited (all-new)
- 2015 Ford Fusion SE
- 2015 Honda Accord EX
- 2015 Hyundai Sonata Sport (all-new)
- 2015 Mazda6 iTouring
- 2015 Nissan Altima 2.5 SV
- 2015 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Premium (all-new)
- 2015 Toyota Camry SE (refreshed)
- 2015 Volkswagen Passat 1.8T SE
Here’s how the scoring broke down: The experts’ scores accounted for 75 percent of the total score; 15 percent came from the family’s scores; and 10 percent was based on fuel economy.
Here is what the judges had to say about each car, in order of how the cars finished: